Sunday, March 8, 2020

A Sunday Walk To Maresana

View from Villa Pighet looking west toward Val Seriana.View over Sorisole.
Left: View from Villa Pighet looking west toward Val Seriana. Right: View over Sorisole.


Length: ~ 15 km (9.3 miles)
Duration: < 5 hours (includes at least an hour for lunch
Elevation:  max 700 m (2300 ft), min 300 m (985 ft)
Location: Italy, Lombardia, Bergamo, Colli di Bergamo

The coronavirus has arrived and we are in lockdown. Well, to be honest, the virus didn't just arrive but has been here a for at least a few weeks. Yesterday, the news of the lockdown in northern Italy added another blow to the psyche of folks living here. Lombardy in it's entirety (which includes Bergamo) is in that lockdown area. Everyone is a bit on edge. We took to the hills.

The hills around Bergamo are - as we've written many many times - are one of the great assets of living in Bergamo. And today was no different, helping us take our minds off the virus. We just walked out with no specific plan in mind and ended up above Maresana and had a nice lunch at Trattoria del Moro (Ponteranica).


Our starting location is usually Fontana Delfino (Piazzetta del Delfino) in the lower city. By the way, the fountain won the most votes in a Sanex-Palmolive competition to be restored and is currently under restoration. Can't wait to see it brought back to life and working again!

From the fountain, walk to the Accademia Carrara and on to the Atalanta Stadium (officially called the Gewiss Stadium). The stadium is in the middle of renovations as well. They have finished one part of the renovation so far - the north end called "curva nord". The result looks like the former stadium much "puffed" up with lots of additional space for wonderful commercial activities like Burger King and American Graffiti restaurants. Sigh.

Closing your eyes past the puffed up stadium, you head north. You then can continue on to Quintino Alto to pick up trail 533, which is the most common way to climb up to Maresana. Today we follow an unofficial trail that follows the spine of the hill between Bergamo and Torre Boldone/Ranica. The trail starts with via Delizia and turns from asphalt to dirt. Along the spine is a series of roccoli - ancient bird trapping devices - until you reach via Maresana (here). From there, we decide to take a look at the Ristorante Villa Pighet (here), passing by a large white cross on Colle di Ranica.

Outside of Pighet, we chatted with an Italian family (husband, wife, son). We talked about how the virus and closures of schools has made experimenting with new ways of teaching, such as online tools, an urgent priority. It's starting to happen but it will take time. Even teleworking in Italy is not as common as it is in the USA. One of the main reasons is that many jobs still require physical presence to do the work.

The family we chatted with mentioned Trattoria del Moro (here) and so we headed off to see if we could get in for lunch and we were successful. We had a great lunch

Trattoria del Moro - appetizer.Trattoria del Moro - pasta (foiade) with rabbit.
A lunch at Trattoria del Moro. Appetizer, foiade with a rabbit sauce and polenta with beef cooked in Barolo wine.

Back to the virus. Before lunch, we washed our hands and the staff is maintaining lost of distance between tables. There is even red tape on the floor indicating how far to stand back from the bar when approaching to pay your bill. By law, they have to ensure a minimum distance of one meter.

From the trattoria, it was back to Maresana and then down trail 533 and into town past Gewiss stadium, up via San Tomaso, and back to Fontana del Delfino.

We did the reverse of this hike back in March 2017, Walk from Bergamo to Maresana for Lunch.


Here are a few plants we saw along the way. Two interesting plants flowers today are the Erythronium dens-cans and the Polygala chamaebuxus, because they are less common in this area.

[Family] Genus species – {Common name in Italian}

[Apocynaceae] Vinca major – {Pervinca maggiore}
[Asteraceae] Bellis perennis – {Pratolina comune}
[Boraginaceae] Pulmonaria sp. – {Polmonaria}
[Euphorbiaceae] Euphorbia helioscopia – {Euforbia calenzuola} - This is just a guess on the species.
[Liliaceae] Erythroninum dens-canis – {Dente di cane}
[Polygalaceae] Polygala chamaebuxus – {Poligala falso bosso}
[Primulaceae] Primula vulgaris – {Primula comune}
[Ranunculaceae] Anemone nemorosa – {Anenome bianca}
[Ranunculaceae] Hepatica nobilis {Erba trinità}
[Violaceae] Viola odoratum – {Viola mammola}

For more information on identifying plants, see the post Resources for Identifying Plants around Bergamo.
[Apocynaceae] Vinca major – {Pervinca maggiore}[Boraginaceae] Pulmonaria sp. – {Polmonaria}[Ranunculaceae] Hepatica nobilis {Erba trinità}[Violaceae] Viola odoratum – {Viola mammola}
Left to right: Vinca, Pulmonaria, Hepatica, and Viola.

[Asteraceae] Bellis perennis – {Pratolina comune}[Euphorbiaceae] Euphorbia helioscopia – {Euforbia calenzuola} - This is just a guess on the species.[Liliaceae] Erythroninum dens-canis – {Dente di cane}[Liliaceae] Erythroninum dens-canis – {Dente di cane}
Left to right: Bellis, Euphorbia, and Erythronium.

[Polygalaceae] Polygala chamaebuxus – {Poligala falso bosso}[Polygalaceae] Polygala chamaebuxus – {Poligala falso bosso}[Primulaceae] Primula vulgaris – {Primula comune}[Ranunculaceae] Anemone nemorosa – {Anenome bianca}
Left to right: Polygala (magenta colored), Polygala (yellow), Primula, Anemone.

East of Bergamo heading toward Torre Boldone.East of Bergamo heading toward Torre Boldone.A map of today's walk - to Maresana.Climbing up through a roccolo - near Bergamo.
Left and center left: East of Bergamo heading toward Torre Boldone. Center right: A map of today's walk. Right: Climbing up through a roccolo.

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